Law theme court library

Wright v McCormack Day 2: Blogger Peter McCormack grilled on deleted evidence

Peter McCormack returned to the stand on day two of Wright v McCormack in London, with the blogger facing questions over his failure to preserve analytics relating to his alleged defamatory tweets.

The analytics are crucial to the case because all that Dr. Craig Wright needs to succeed in his case against McCormack is to show that the tweets caused serious harm to his reputation in the United Kingdom. Therefore, the analytics relevant to the tweets at the heart of Dr. Wright’s suit are key: they will provide the clearest indication of the number of people McCormack’s tweets reached and the degree of engagement they invited.

However, under questioning by Adam Wolanski QC appearing for Dr. Wright, McCormack was forced to admit that despite representing that the analytics did exist in the lead up to trial, they were never turned over to Dr. Wright’s team in discovery.

McCormack argued that 10 of the 15 tweets were deleted by automatic software designed to purge old tweets—as a result, the analytics were lost too, he said. Though McCormack had claimed prior to trial that he had downloaded those analytics prior to deletion, Wolanski queried why that download was not turned over in discovery. The same question was asked of the remaining tweets, which were not deleted the analytics of which were also not turned over in discovery.

“The truth is, you knew perfectly well you had to preserve that data but you destroyed it anyway,” pressed Wolanski.

“I understand why you think that but it’s not true,” replied McCormack.

Generally, the law entitles the court to draw adverse inferences from any deliberate deletion of evidence. This is what Dr. Wright’s team will be urging Judge Chamberlain to do.

McCormack insisted that to the extent anything which should have been produced in discovery was not, it was a mistake on the part of his lawyers. When Wolanski reminded him that it is his responsibility as the defendant party to the litigation, McCormack relayed that he was without legal representation at the time and was a journalist trying to manage childcare while being sued by Dr. Wright.

This is a point Wolanski pulled McCormack on later in the day. After repeating McCormack’s past claims that he is withdrawing his defense against Dr. Wright for being a journalist of ‘ordinary financial means,’ Wolanski brought his attention to tweets made after the commencement of the lawsuit in which McCormack brags about buying a new sportscar worth $200,000 as well as his purchase of a local football club.

McCormack responded by saying the car was bought on loan and the purchase of the football club did not involve any extraordinary payment—instead, he was granted control of the club by its trustees and then tasked with funding its operation via sponsorship deals.

Tuesday was originally scheduled to be the final day of trial. However, the defense is attempting to bring in a last-minute witness who it is said helped organize one of the conferences which Dr. Wright says he was disinvited from. On Monday, counsel for McCormack told the court that the witness would be able to travel from Paris, France, to be in court today. This evidently didn’t happen, with counsel telling the Judge that the witness would now only be able to give evidence via video link tomorrow morning. Court was adjourned early so that parties could make submissions on this issue, which is now set to be decided in advance of Wednesday’s hearing.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.